Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF

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4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating

Closed January 8, 2011

Will undoubtedly prove a popular success, particularly with the attraction of the big names and its plethora of hummable music, comedy, energy and pathos.

Philip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide

Why See Oliver?


Fast-paced, powerful and generous of spirit, Oliver is award-winning producer Cameron Mackintosh's (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats) take on Lionel Bart's superbly melodic musical. Directed by Rupert Goold, choreographed by Tony award-winner Matthew Bourne and with Anthony Ward's spectacular multi-level sets, the lavish production brings to life the journey of orphan Oliver as he is sold, abused, deceived and abducted by a range of grotesque characters before finally being united with his grandfather.

This re-staging of Sam Mendes's acclaimed 1994 revival sees Rowan Atkinson as a comic, sinister Fagin, while Nancy is played by Jodie Prenger, 'the people's choice' on BBC TV talent show I'd Do Anything.


Young orphan Oliver lives in a grim Victorian workhouse run by greedy caretakers, Mr Bumble and Widow Corney. With only gruel to eat, Oliver asks for more but the angered caretakers sell Oliver off as an apprentice undertaker. Oliver ends up on the streets after escaping from a coffin and is found by the Artful Dodger, a wily pickpocket, who offers Oliver work and a bed in the lair of aging thief Fagin.

On a 'job' Oliver is set up and arrested for pickpocketing wealthy Mr Brownlow. But Mr Brownlow suspects he is innocent and takes the boy to his home. Afraid of being ratted out, Fagin, his sinister associate Bill Sikes and girlfriend Nancy abduct Oliver. Oliver seems doomed to a miserable life. But a twist in fate sends ever-greedy Mr Bumble and Widow Corney scurrying over to Mr Brownlow's home with a locket left to Oliver. Mr Brownlow recognises the locket-owner as his niece. Nancy, who has grown fond of Oliver, tries to return him to Mr Brownlow. But Bill Sikes is following her...


Lionel Bart has been criticised for omitting the social rage and Gothic strangeness in Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist on which the musical is based.

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Additional Information


Previews from: 12 December 2008

Opening night: 14 January 2009


Oliver! is suitable for audiences of all ages. Children aged under 4 will not be admitted to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Run time

Two hours 40 minutes with one 15 minute intermission

And before you stop reading

Please note that Row A in the Balcony is restricted view by a handrail

Cast and Creative


Russ Abbott as Fagin
Griff Rhys Jones as Fagin (6 Dec - 8 Jan)
Kerry Ellis as Nancy
Tamsin Carroll as Nancy (Wed & thu evenings)
Steven Hartley as Bill Sikes
Stephen Moore as Mr Brownlow
Christian Patterson as Mr. Bumble
Claire Machin Widow Corney
Jason Morell as Mr Sowerberry
Louise Gold as Mrs Sowerberry / Mrs Bedwin 
Gwion Wyn Jones, Ethan Smith,  William Pearce Anthony Jenkins and as Oliver
Jaques Miche, Joe Wolstenholme and Ben Wilson as Artful Dodger
Sarah Larkas Street Seller & Nancy understudy


Due to licensing issues we cannot decide which Oliver will perform until shortly before the performance starts.


Music & lyrics by Lionel Bart
Based on the Original production by Sam Mendes
Co-Directed & Choreographed by Matthew Bourne
Directed by Rupert Goold
Lighting design by Paule Constable
Designed by Anthony Ward
Sound by Paul Groothuis

What you thought

105 reviews, average rating: (4.5 Stars)

4.5 star rating

Anonymous: “outstanding!!”

Went to see opening night (sat 13th Dec) and was absolutely amazing. Worth... more

Anonymous: “excellent opening night! (13th dec)”

We were completly engrossed in the performance from start to finish, the... more

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